Wood In Oregon (12 Species With Photos)

Woodpeckers are adaptable to life and may be found leaping up and down trees, digging insects out of the wood. In this article, we’ll learn about the 12 types of woodpeckers found in Oregon, as well as where and when you might typically see them. We’ll provide a few tips on how to entice woodpeckers to your property at the conclusion of the piece.


In North America, at least 17 distinct species of woodpeckers may be observed. Oregon is a fantastic place to come upon woodpeckers, with 12 species that spend at least part of the year here.

Acorn woodpecker, American three-toed woodpecker, black-backed woodpecker, downy woodpecker, hairy woodpecker, Lewis’s woodpecker, Northern flicker, pileated woodpecker, red-breasted sapsucker, red-naped sapsucker and Williamson’s sapsucker are the 12 species of Oregonian treepckers.


  • Scientific name: Melanerpes formicivorus
  • Length: 7.5-9.1 in
  • Weight: 2.3-3.2 oz
  • Wingspan: 13.8-16.9 in

In North America, acorn woodpeckers have a small range, although they may be seen year-round along the Oregon coast. They like acorns and a variety of different insects, so look for them in oak or pine-oak woods.

They, like many woodpecker species, will visit suet feeders on occasion, although they are not a frequent backyard visitor. In the Rouge Valley and Klamath River Canyon, they are considered relatively abundant.

The back, tail, and chest of both sexes are black, while the belly is white. Their white eye-ring stands out, and their mostly black head has a white ring around the face. Males and females have a red head, but the males’ red extends all the way to their foreheads.

Acorn woodpeckers are well-known for drilling holes in trees known as “granaries” and holding up to 50,000 acorns at a time, according to their name. Other animals are unable to extract them from these holes because they jam them in so tightly. For a later date, when food is more scarce, they store their cache here. These food caches will also be fiercely guarded by these animals from anything that attempts to steal them.


  • Scientific name: Picoides dorsalis
  • Length: 8.3-9.1 in
  • Weight: 1.6-2.4 oz
  • Wingspan: 14.6-15.3 in

Although they may be found in certain regions of Oregon, the American three-toed woodpecker is more common in Canada than the United States. Look in the Cascade Range’s wooded regions, as well as in the state’s northeastern corner. They favor diseased, ancient growth woods with numerous dead or burnt trees, in which they may readily extract insect larvae and dig for beetles.

Woodpeckers have four toes, sometimes called Zygodactyl toes. Although these woodpeckers have only three toes, their name gives that away. Because of the leverage provided by having just 3 toes, the three-toed woodpecker is thought to be able to lean back farther and strike a stronger blow to its target.

In the United States, woodpeckers are not particularly common. Backyard feeders are seldom visited.


  • Scientific name: Picoides arcticus
  • Length: 9.1 in
  • Weight: 2.1-3.1 oz
  • Wingspan: 15.8-16.5 in

Between the ages of one and eight, black-backed woodpeckers are most often found in burnt woodlands. In forests where wildfires had occurred, their solid black plumage helps them blend into charred trees. These burnt regions are magnets for black-backed woodpeckers, who will stay in them for years and feast on the larvae of wood-boring beetles and other insects.

These woodpeckers are unclear how they find burnt woodlands, although they do so a few weeks after the event. As with the American three-toed woodpecker, this species has just three toes. They’ll also forage in unburned woods, searching for bark beetle populations.

Throughout the Cascades and wooded areas east of the Cascades, you may find them any time of year.


  • Scientific name: Dryobates pubescens
  • Length: 5.5-6.7 in
  • Weight: 0.7-1.0 oz
  • Wingspan: 9.8-11.8 in

These little woodpeckers may be found all year in Oregon, wherever you look. They may be found practically everywhere in the United States. They are the North American woodpeckers’ smallest species. The white dots on their backs, as well as the clean white chest and belly, differentiate the downy from other small birds. A red patch appears on the back of a male’s head.

The most common woodpecker species seen at backyard bird feeders is the downy. They consume sunflower seeds, millet, and peanuts in addition to suet. Hummingbird feeders, where their tiny beak allows them access to the sugar water, are also a common place for them to visit.


  • Scientific name: Dryobates villosus
  • Length: 7.1-10.2 in
  • Weight: 1.4-3.4 oz
  • Wingspan: 13.0-16.1 in

Maybe you’re wondering if the bird in this photo is another downy woodpecker. Yes, but they do bear an uncanny resemblance. In the United States, hairy woodpeckers are frequently found near downy woodpeckers. and make things more difficult when you’re trying to figure out which is which.

In comparison to its body size, the hairy woodpecker is significantly bigger and has a longer beak. Here’s a guide to help you differentiate between them that we’ve written.

These two woodpeckers have a lot in common, both environmentally and nutritionally. They are most prevalent in the western part of the state, and can be found all year in Oregon. The hairy woodpecker is more cautious of humans than the downy, and they will visit backyard suet feeders, although they are less frequently seen.


  • Scientific name: Melanerpes lewis
  • Length: 10.2-11.0 in
  • Weight: 3.1-4.9 oz
  • Wingspan: 19.3-20.5 in

During the non-breeding months, Lewis’ woodpeckers may be seen across Oregon, but they are often missing from the eastern part of the state. Their populations are often unpredictable, and they prefer to stay in pine forests and forests that have been burned.

Their fall-winter population frequently ends up in different locations year-to-year because they travel around looking for stores of acorns and nuts after breeding season. During the winter, they store these foods in nooks and crannies where they will last.

Lewis’ woodpeckers, unlike other woodpeckers, capture insects in midair. Their flight has a graceful, crow-like quality due to their broad, rounded wings.

Most woodpeckers have black and white bodies, so their coloration is really distinctive. With a pink belly, crimson patch on the cheek, and a deep, iridescent green on their back and wings, Lewis’ are quite vibrant.


  • Scientific nameColaptes auratus
  • Length: 11.0-12.2 in
  • Weight: 3.9-5.6 oz
  • Wingspan: 16.5-20.1 in

In the United States, backyards are home to these medium-sized to giant-sized woodpeckers. They’re among my favorite birds in North America, in addition to some of the most vibrant.

Unlike most woodpeckers, Flickers prefer to find insects on the ground rather than in trees, and they feed mostly on them. The black patches on their bellies, solid black bib, barred black and gray wings, and brown face on a gray head will help you identify them.

Males have a crimson “stache,” but females do not. You may find bright red feathers on the underside of their wings and tail in Oregon, as well as the crimson-shafted kind.

Northern Flickers may be seen all year in Oregon, and they will occasionally stop by backyard suet feeders. You may observe them digging around for insects if you have some leaf mounds in the yard.


  • Scientific name: Dryocopus pileatus
  • Length: 15.8-19.3 in
  • Weight: 8.8-12.3 oz
  • Wingspan: 26.0-29.5 in

In Oregon and North America, the pileated woodpecker is the biggest of all woodpeckers. They have a large red crest and a black body with white stripes. The crimson cheek stripe on males is present, whereas it’s not on females. Only the western part of the state, as well as the northeast corner, are home to pileated woodpeckers.

Carpenter ants are their favorite food, and they’ll dig huge rectangular holes in trees to get at them.

Look for mature woods if you want to see a pileated woodpecker. They like rotting wood on ancient, dead trees. Although they are less common visitors than other species, pileated woodpeckers may sometimes visit backyard feeders. They are frequently too big for all but the largest suet feeder.


  • Scientific name: Sphyrapicus ruber
  • Length: 7.9-8.7 in
  • Weight: 1.9-2.2 oz
  • Wingspan: 14.6-16.0 in

Western Oregon is home to red-breasted sapsuckers all year. They prefer pine woodlands with aspen and alder, which they live in.

The red-breasted sapsucker is a medium-sized woodpecker with a solid crimson head and crimson chest. Black and white plumage covers the remainder of their bodies. These sapsuckers can easily be distinguished from one another due to their all-red head.

They lap up the tree sap as it flows in the same manner as other sapsuckers do by drilling little sap wells into trees.


  • Scientific name: Sphyrapicus nuchalis
  • Length: 7.5-8.3 in
  • Weight: 1.1-2.3 oz
  • Wingspan: 16.1-16.9 in

The red-naped sapsucker and the red-breasted sapsucker are closely related. They were once thought to be the same species. Although the red-naped sapsuckers are more common in the eastern regions of the state, both species may sometimes mate and produce hybrids since they are both found in Oregon.

Males have a fully red neck and females have a white neck with a crimson necklace, while both sexes feature a crimson forehead. Their head is striped with black and white stripes rather than solid red.

They drink sap from aspen, birch, and pine trees like other sapsuckers, but they also eat insects. A sap-producing tree with neat rows of holes is a surefire sign that a sapsucker has recently been in the area.

When they’re most active in the morning, look for them in Oregon early in the breeding season (around May). During the summer, they stay in eastern Oregon, then in the autumn, they leave.


  • Scientific name: Dryobates albolarvatus
  • Length: 8.3-9.1 in
  • Weight: 1.9-2.3 oz
  • Wingspan: 16.9 in

Only isolated areas of the United States are home to white-headed woodpeckers. They prefer pine-covered mountains and are seldom found in pine-less woodlands. The Ochoco, Blue, and Wallowa mountains on the east side of the Cascades are where they may be found in Oregon.

Look for these woodpeckers in pine-covered areas with ponderosa, Jeffery, Coulter, and sugar pines if you want to eat pine seeds and cones. They prefer to pull and peel the bark of trees rather than drill into them. In order to take advantage of the insects present in burnt forests, they will flock there as well.

Except for their brilliant white heads and white streaks on their wings, white-headed woodpeckers are about the same size as an American Robin, with mostly inky black plumage. In addition to other woodpecker species, adult males have a prominent crimson patch on top of their heads.


  • Scientific name: Sphyrapicus thyroideus
  • Length8.3-9.8 in
  • Weight1.6-1.9 oz
  • Wingspan17 inches

Just a few western states, including Oregon, have Williamson’s sapsuckers. The Blue Mountains and the eastern slope of the Cascades are where they’re most common. During the breeding season, these sapsuckers only come to Oregon, then go south for the winter after that.

They extract sap from coniferous trees by drilling sap wells and feed primarily on it. Males and femen look nothing at all similar. The backs of males are black, while their bellies are yellow with a little red on the lip. The brown heads of females contrast with their black and white striped bodies.

Williamson’s sapsuckers are mostly located in hilly woods and are uncommon in yards. They prefer to nest in bigger, older trees, where they roost in natural or excavated holes.


We want to attract as many types of birds as possible in our backyards. Woodpeckers may be a bit more difficult to attract, and they prefer more particular foods than most songbirds. Here are some ways to make your yard more appealing to woodpeckers if you’re interested in doing so.

  • Many types of woodpeckers are brave enough to visit feeders and offer food they like. Suet is the best food for attracting woodpeckers, although some species will eat seeds and nuts. A suet feeder with a tail prop area will help to attract bigger woodpecker species, so make sure to get one.
  • Woodpeckers like dead and dying trees that are simple to bore holes in and have loads of insect larvae available for them to devour. Leave dead trees alone.
  • Northern flickers and pileated woodpeckers have been documented to use nest boxes, for example.
  • Woodpeckers may occasionally enjoy fruits and berries such as dogwood, serviceberry, tupelo, mountain ash, strawberry, cherry, grapes, bayberry, holly, blueberries. mulberry,. and elderberries. Plant native fruit-bearing plants and trees to attract them.
  • Remember to provide water for woodpeckers, as they will utilize bird baths the same as other birds do. A water mover or solar fountain is ideal for attracting them.

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